May 2017 E-Newsletter

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Jan Callison - News from District 6

May 2017


I hope you are enjoying my electronic newsletters, and find them interesting and informative about county activities. In addition to my monthly newsletter, the county sends various newsletters and notifications available by email or text message. To explore the many opportunities to subscribe or to change your preferences, visit the subscription webpage.

Please feel free to send me your comments through my feedback form on issues that concern you or you would like covered. I value your opinions.

Warm regards,

Jan Callison

In this edition

Board meetings

April 11, 2017

Renewed funding will help keep youth in school

The board approved $2 million of funding to extend contracts for a Hennepin County program to provide early intervention to youth at risk of becoming truant. The be@school program, run by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, is extending contracts with 12 vendors who provide services to youth and their families.

Read more about this action.

Read more about be@school.

Continued funding will provide path out of homelessness

The board accepted $759,450 in grant funding to help house people with mental illnesses who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. The Minnesota Department of Human Services funding provides outreach, case management and other services focusing on recovery. The program helped 46 clients who had been chronically homeless find housing last year. 

Read more about this action.

Read more about Hennepin County resources for the homeless. 

Funding will rehabilitate Lake Street bridge

Lake Street Bridge

The board approved a funding agreement with Ramsey County to maintain the 28-year-old Lake Street Bridge crossing over the Mississippi River. The bridge connects Minneapolis and St. Paul. Hennepin and Ramsey counties will each pay half of the estimated $1.4 million project cost. Maintenance work is slated to begin early this summer.

Read more about the funding agreement.

Read more about the project.

April 25, 2017

Funding will continue preparing youth for college and careers

The board approved $164,000 of funding to expand the reach of a college and career readiness program for local youth experiencing employment barriers. Throughout the next two years, 100 Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center youth will complete $15 an hour internships with public and private employer partners. This summer, Hennepin County will host 10 interns.

Read more about the program.

Federal and local dollars will aid transit-oriented development along Blue Line Extension


The board accepted $1.2 million of federal and local funding to advance transit-oriented development along the future Metro Blue Line Extension (Bottineau Transitway).

Hennepin County will receive $1.1 million from the Federal Transit Administration, with Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Robbinsdale and Golden Valley contributing additional funding.

Using grant funding, Hennepin County Community Works will complete the following activities:

  • Help cities update land use policies and zoning ordinances
  • Improve bicycle and pedestrian connections and wayfinding
  • Analyze housing gaps
  • Engage with the community and small businesses
  • Explore financing strategies

The Metro Blue Line Extension will extend 13 miles from Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park and include 11 stations.

Learn more about the funding.

Learn more about Bottineau LRT Community Works.

Library Board members commended for their service

Library logo

The board commended three retiring Hennepin County Library Board members:

The work that the Library Board does is incredibly important to the success of the Hennepin County Library System. 

    Read more about the board. 

    Board briefings

    April 20, 2017

    Annual budget process

    Staff provided the following information relative to the preparation of the 2018 budget: 

    • Property values continue to increase in Hennepin County.  As was true last year, Minneapolis values have grown more than suburban values and, throughout the county, apartments have grown more than single family residences. 
    • Fund balances are relatively stable and generally appropriate
    • Significant cost drivers in 2018 are likely to be labor and health care costs
    • The federal and state budgets represent significant areas of uncertainty for county budgeting

    County calendar

    May 1, 2017

    Step to it

    Residents still have time to register for Hennepin County’s Step to it challenge, which begins Monday, May 1.

    The challenge, open to residents of all ages and abilities, is a way to get moving while connecting with family, friends and neighbors. During the challenge May 1 - 28, participants track their steps for a chance to win Minnesota Twins tickets and other prizes.

    Participants can log all types of activities toward their step total – even activities already part of their daily routine, like washing the car, cleaning the house and vacuuming.

    How to participate

    • Register online at or call 612-348-5618
    • Log your activity daily or weekly May 1 - 28 using the activity conversion chart
    • You can also log steps using your activity tracker

    May 1, 2017

    Samurai and Swords

    celebrate Asia

    Grades 7-12. In this three-part series, learn about Kenjutsu, the Japanese art of swordsmanship. Demonstrations and hands-on learning with wooden practice weapons will have you moving like a warrior in training.

    • Monday, May 1, 6 to 7 p.m

    • Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina

    Learn more about the Kenjutsu demonstration.

    May 2, 2017

    Public hearing on financing of affordable housing project

    The Housing and Redevelopment Authority is hosting a public hearing in May to gather feedback on financing a 169-unit affordable housing project in downtown Minneapolis.

    • Tuesday, May 2, at 1:30 p.m.
    • Hennepin County Government Center Board Room (A-2400)
    • 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis

    The site of the future affordable housing project, East Town Apartments, is located at 815 Sixth Street South.

    Read more about the public hearing.

    May 2, 2017

    Master Gardener: Edible Gardening


    Learn the how-tos of edible gardening. Fruits, vegetables, berries and edible flowers can easily become a part of your home landscape design.

    • Tuesday, May 2, 6 to 7:30 p.m

    • Hopkins Library, 22 11th Avenue North, Hopkins

    Learn more about this gardening class.

    May 8 and 13, 2017

    Global Folk: Puerto Rican Drum and Dance

    Global folk

    Young dancers and drummers from the El Arco Iris Center for the Arts will immerse you in the rhythms and culture of Puerto Rico! Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

    • Saturday, May 13, 2 to 3 p.m

    • Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina

    Learn more about this drum and dance event.

    May 15, 2017

    Resources to maintain senior independence

    Seniors can encounter many challenges to their independence. In addition to its many rewards, caregiving for a loved one can also present difficulties. Learn various approaches and services that can help support seniors to continue living at home. Sponsor: Friends of the Wayzata Library. Collaborator: Senior Community Services.

    • Monday, May 15, 1 to 2 p.m

    • Wayzata Library, 620 Rice Street, Wayzata

    Learn more about this event for seniors.

    May 16, 2017

    Public hearing on financing capital improvements

    The board is hosting a public hearing to gather feedback on the issuance of up to $200 million of financing for 2017 – 2021 capital improvements. 

    • Tuesday, May 16, 1:30 p.m.
    • Hennepin County Government Center Board Room (A-2400)
    • 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis 

    May 19, 2017

    Bike to work day



    Friday, May 19 is National Bike to Work Day. Whether it’s your first ride to work, or you’re a seasoned year-round commuter, there’s no better day to celebrate all the benefits of biking to work.

    Group rides led by elected officials and experienced bike commuters will start at the locations around Minneapolis and head downtown. Find a ride near you.

    Bike to Work Day morning celebration

    Meet up at the Government Center North Plaza for a fun Bike to Work Day celebration organized by Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Bike Coalition with refreshments, speakers and more.

    Friday, May 19, 8 – 9 a.m.
    Hennepin County Government Center, North Plaza
    300 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55487
    Rain location: Government Center, skyway level

    County resources to help you ride

    With more than 226 miles of off-street bikeways and 425 miles of on-street bikeways connecting 45 cities and 1.2 million residents, Hennepin County is your place to ride.

    • Explore our online interactive map to discover great places to ride near you, whatever your experience level.
    • Check out the County’s 2040 Bicycle Transportation Plan to learn more about our vision for connecting people to places by keeping biking simple, safe and fun for everyone.
    • Pick up a free County Bike Map at any one of our county library locations.
    • Get involved in making the county’s vision for bicycling a reality by attending a meeting of the Bicycle Advisory Committee.
    • Look for safety tips, seasonal tricks and other useful information for every type of rider at

    June 1, 2017

    Volunteers needed to monitor wetlands


    Hennepin County is seeking volunteers to monitor wetlands as part of its Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP).

    The program seeks adult volunteers with an interest in wetlands, bugs and/or plants. Applicants do not need a science background or previous experience. Hennepin County provides all the training, equipment and leadership. 

    Volunteers are expected to commit 15 hours per month from June to September.

    Residents of the following cities and neighboring communities are encouraged to apply for area teams: 

    • Bloomington
    • Brooklyn Center
    • Brooklyn Park
    • Corcoran
    • Eden Prairie
    • Medina
    • Minneapolis
    • Minnetonka
    • Plymouth

    Partnering cities use WHEP data to determine the health of water resources and manage natural resources.

    The deadline to submit volunteer applications is June 1. For more information or to become a volunteer, call Mary Karius at 612-596-9129 or visit the WHEP webpage.


    District 6 - 2017 Transportation Activity



    Hennepin County's public works department is going to be keeping busy now that construction season has begun.  Staff has identified many maintenance needs that will be included in the county's yearly maintenance programs over the next few years.  For the 2017 season, work consists of road pavement improvements - overlays and crack sealing; traffic improvements - pedestrian ramps, railroad crossings pre-emption conversions, signal painting, and signal video detection; roadside improvements - guardrail repairs; and ongoing maintenance activities which includes: patching potholes, street sweeping, mowing, maintaining signs, restriping roadways, repairing drainage structures, repairing guardrails, and removing diseased trees.

    A few examples of projects across the district are:

    • Edina: Overlay on France Avenue (CR 17) from Highway 62 to 51st Street
    • Hopkins: Overlay on Excelsior Boulevard (CR 3) from Church Lane to 11th Avenue South
    • Wayzata: Pedestrian sidewalk ramp replacement and upgrading on Central Avenue (CR 101) at the Wayzata Boulevard intersection
    • Eden Prairie: Signal painting on Baker Road (CR 60) at 62nd Street West
    • Orono: Guardrail repairs on Shoreline Drive (CR 15) at Beach Line as well as Green Trees Road

    There are also a few notable reconstruction projects in 2017:

    • Some finishing work continues on the County Road 101 South reconstruction project in Minnetonka.
    • Work is getting underway on the Wayzata Boulevard (CR 112) reconstruction project in Long Lake and Orono.  Project webpage
    • The Brown Road (CR 146) Bridge over Long Lake Creek is scheduled to be replaced in 2017.  Project webpage

    Residents looking for the most current information about major operations activities should visit

    Hennepin County provides resources for homebuyers


    Spring home buying season is here. Hennepin County has resources for house hunters to enhance, inform and supplement the home buying process.

    This information is more accurate, comprehensive and reliable than home buying aggregate websites, and features unique historical information and records not found anywhere else.

    Minneapolis City Hall / Hennepin County Courthouse clock dedication



    On April 24, 2017 the Municipal Building Commission Board officially celebrated the lighting of the faces of the Minneapolis City Hall / Hennepin County Courthouse clock.  The clock was dedicated after the completion of a roughly $2.1 million restoration project, which included replacing the white clock faces with glass similar to what the clock had when first built more than a century ago; the steel framing with cast aluminum; and neon light with historically accurate backlighting.

    The clock is the largest, four-faced chiming clock in the world measuring 23 feet, 6 inches in diameter. 

    Some interesting facts about the clock include:

    • At 345 feet (400 at the tip of the flagstaff), the clock tower made the City Hall/Courthouse building the tallest structure in Minneapolis until the Foshay Tower was built in the 1920s.
    • Each minute hand is more than 14 feet long. It was once calculated that the minute hand travels 110 miles each year.
    • A new set of metal clock faces with neon lighting were installed when the original backlit glasses faces started to crack in 1949.
    • The restored clock features roughly 11,000 pieces in each of the four clock faces.

    Make sure you take a trip to downtown Minneapolis to see the beautiful restored clock.

    About District 6

    District 6 map

    The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners consists of one commissioner from each of seven districts. I am proud to represent Deephaven, north Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Greenwood, Hopkins, Long Lake, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, northern Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Wayzata and Woodland.

    County information

    District 6 staff


    Jan Callison
    6th District

    Allyson Sellwood
    Policy Aide

    Christine Hoyles
    Administrative Assistant

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